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MOSCOW, October 29. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will hold a meeting on Wednesday with Director of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Michael Link who arrived in Moscow for the first time since taking office in July this year.
ODIHR press secretary Thomas Rymer told TASS that Link came to the Russian capital on a familiarisation trip and the meeting agenda would be open. He will discuss current issues and co-operation prospects, development of further interaction, Rymer said.
The sides may exchange views on the October 26 Ukrainian parliamentary elections. The new head of ODIHR that specialises in election monitoring may familiarise the Russian foreign minister with the international observers’ assessment of the voting process.
Moscow expressed readiness to recognise the parliamentary election results, however, noted many violations during the polls’ preparation. ““The early returns from the Ukrainian parliamentary elections indicate that the Ukrainian people have voted,” Lavrov said. “We leave aside the many violations that occurred during the preparations for the elections and the methods of coercion that were applied to a number of candidates and the measures to bar other political forces from the political process and participation in elections. Nevertheless, the voting did take place.”
International observers for their part are certain that the elections were held with observance of the fundamental freedoms. A joint statement of the monitors among which there are OSCE ODIHR representatives, said that the voting had many positive aspects, including impartial and efficient work of the Central Election Commission, competitive discussions that allowed the electorate to make their choice and the general observance of the fundamental freedoms.
German politician and diplomat Michael Link has replaced on the power of the ODIHR head Slovenian diplomat Janez Lenar·i· who has been the Office director during two tree-year terms.
ODIHR is based in Warsaw and is engaged, among other things, in monitoring elections and democracy and freedoms issues in the OSCE member states.